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IS VENUS INHABITED ? 



BY 



C. E. HOUSDEN 

MEMBER B.A.A. 



WITH DIAGRAMS 



523169 



LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO 
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON 
JOURTH AVENUE 4 30TH STREET, NEW YORK 
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IS VENUS INHABITED? 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

THE RIDDLE OF MARS: the 
Planet. 

With 5 Plates (3 Coloured). 8vo, 3^". 6d. net. 
LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO. 

LONDON, NEW YORK, BOMBAY, CALCUTTA, MADRAS 



IS VENUS INHABITED ? 



C. E. HOUSDEN 

MEMBER B.A.A. 



WITH DIAGRAMS 



LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO. 
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON 

FOURTH AVENUE & 30TH STREET, NEW YORK 
BOMBAY, CALCUTTA, AND MADRAS 

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IS VENUS INHABITED? 

In this pamphlet are put forward for considera- 
tion some theories formed with reo;ard to the 
probable physical condition of Venus, from a 
study of recorded observations of the planet and 
of its surface markings. 

The views advanced herein will doubtless, 
at first reading, appear somewhat startling as 
they postulate the probable existence of in- 
telligent life on our neighbour world. The 
arguments on which they are based will, never- 
theless, it is hoped, be found to be sound, and 
the deductions therefrom reasonable. 

The diameter of Venus is about 7630 miles, 
and its density but just inferior to that of our 
Earth, 0*82 to 1. The planet thus much re- 
sembles our own dwelling place in size and 
mass and, therefore, probably in its admitted 
atmospheric equipment. 



6 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

According to Dr. Lowell its physical condi- 
tion must, however, be radically different. 

From his study of Venus, and of its surface 
markings (which markings he finds are very 
faint, but nevertheless assurable and keep an 
invariable position to one another), he has come 
to the following conclusions with regard to the 
planet : — 

(i.) It always turns the same face to the 
Sun, its dark hemisphere must in consequence 
be intensely cold and the sunlit one an arid 
desert. 

(ii.) The amount of water vapour which can 
be spectroscopically detected overlying its sunlit 
face is small. 

(iii.) The Venusian atmosphere is a cloudless 
but probably a dust-laden one. 

(iv.) The planet's high albedo, or power of 
reflecting 92 per cent, of incident light, is due to 
its cloudless but dust-charged atmosphere ; and 
finally — 

(v.) All we know on Earth as life is, for the 
above reasons, unlikely thereon. 

It appears probable, however, as is shown 
later on, that the planet's actual physical 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 7 

condition may in some respects differ from the 
above outline thereof. 

The surface markings of Venus are, Dr. Lowell 
findsj somewhat peculiar in character ; they are 
generally, if somewhat roughly and too markedly, 
indicated in Fig. (1), Plate I., which has been 
prepared from a consideration of his published 
views of the planet when it is near superior 
conjunction, the use of which he has kindly 
allowed for this purpose. 

It will be seen from this illustration that 
these markinsjs consist of — 

(a) Finger-like shadings running in spoke- 
wise fashion from the planet's bright terminator 
towards the centre of the illuminated disc. 

(b) Some further shaded areas around this 
centre, and — 

(c) A sort of collar round the southern 
cusp. 

It will be further noticed that the spoke or 
finger-like markings are strongest and widest 
near the terminator, w^here their width is about 
500 miles as scaled from Dr. Lowell's drawings. 

(The existence of such markings has been 
generally confirmed by the Mercury and Venus 



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IS VENUS INHABITED? 9 

Section of the British Astronomical Association, 
vide Annual Report for 1913-1914, page 504.) 

Dr. Lowell suggests in '' The Evolution of 
Worlds/' that as the aerial circulation of Venus 
is, on the assumption that the planet always 
turns the same face to the sun, most probably, 
somewhat as illustrated in Fig. (2), the planet's 
surface would be swept by winds of hurricane 
power, flowing across the terminator of the sun- 
lit face from the dark to the sun-illumined hemi- 
sphere, the marks of whose inrush might well 
be discernible as the finger-like markings even 
across the great distance which separates Venus 
from our Earth when the planet is at superior 
conjunction. This theory does not, however, 
afford any explanation of the planet's other 
markings and, moreover, does not appear to be 
in other ways sufficiently full, an alternative 
one is, therefore, now advanced. 

In the first place air rushing inwards to a 
central point where the barometric pressure is 
low would not progress in direct lines, but would 
have a spiral inflow, and in the next place to 
scour the planet's surface with finger-like mark- 
ings by an inrush of air from its terminator the 

A 2 



10 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

force of the uprusli of air at the centre of the 
sunlit face would have to be very great indeed, 
for in Venus we have to deal with a globe whose 
diameter is close on 7650 miles, and which 
has, in consequence, a circumference of about 
24,000 miles. 

If the shaft {n^ in Fig. (2)) up which the air is 
rising in the centre of the illuminated disc has 
a circumference of 1000 miles (diameter 318*3 
miles), into which the air is flowing from all 
sides at a rate of 100 miles per hour, the rate 
at which the air would have to move centre- 
wards from the outer edge of the sun-illumined 
face would at most be ^, or say about 4 miles 
per hour only. 

For the air to rush across the divicliug line 
between the dark and bright hemispheres at 
even 40 miles an hour, the uprush at the centre 
of the bright hemisphere and, what is more, the 
down-flow at the centre of the dark hemisphere 
would have to reach the very great velocity of 
well over 1000 miles per hour. No such general 
high velocity in air movements has been recorded 
on our own Earth, whose atmosphere is probably 
similar to that of Venus, wind velocities even in 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 11 

violent hurricanes, which are clearly due to local, 
causes, but seldom exceeding 100 miles per 
hour. 

To help us form some conclusions with 
regard to the general probable circulation of 
the atmosphere of Venus a review, without 
going into too much detail, of conditions regu- 
lating the systematic flow of air on Earth will 
perhaps be of assistance. 

Owing to the heated condition of Earth's 
equatorial regions, or from some other cause, 
the air immediately overlying them rises causing, 
to replace the air thus displaced, a flow of air 
equatorwards from the direction of the Poles, 
which flow of air the rotation of the Earth 
on its axis converts into north-easterly trade 
winds north of the Equator and south-easterly 
trade winds south of it. The heated air rising 
in the equatorial regions flows over these trade 
winds in polewards directions to begin with, 
to be, owing again to the earth's rotation, 
diverted into south-westerly winds north of the 
Equator and north-westerly ones south of it. 
Both these latter air currents do not, however, 
get as far as the Polar regions — north or south 



12 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

' — but being cliecked, by running into a colder 
atmosphere and one having a smaller circum- 
ference, are brought down to the Earth's sur- 
face in about latitude 30° to 40° north and 
south, to thence flow back as surface currents 
equatorwards. The regular flow of air above 
outlined being between these latitudes north or 
south and the corresponding poles replaced by 
a reoion of variable winds. 

Something of the same kind, it would 
appear, very probably takes place on Venus 
also, but owing to no great change in tempe- 
rature beino' met with until the dividing; line 
between the illuminated and dark hemispheres 
is crossed, and owing to the upper air currents 
flowino^ into reoions having an ever increasing; 
circumference until this dividing line is crossed, 
it is very likely that they do not come to the 
surface of Venus until a girdling circle a short 
distance within the planet's dark hemisphere 
is reached. The general flow of air on the 
planet being thus, it is suggested, somewhat 
as shown in Fig. (3), in which the lengths of 
the arrows indicate decreasing and increasing 
velocities. The directions of flow would also 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 13 

probably have a more spiral set than that 
indicated in the cut. 

The heights of the air currents are also 
much exaggerated in this sketch. They would 
probably be limited to the lower portions of 
the planet's atmosphere, the depth of which 
on Venus might be about 3 to 4 miles, the 
lower flow being approximately confined to the 
lower 1| to 2 miles and the upper flow to the 
upper 1| to 2 miles, the length of either 
current being over 6000 miles. 

The effect of such an air circulation would 
be the same as that of the circulation suggested 
by Dr. Lowell, all moisture would in time be 
evaporated from the planet's hemisphere exposed 
to perpetual sunshine and deposited as ice on 
the planet's dark hemisphere. This deposit of 
ice would, however, most probably be greatest 
and thickest at a short distance inside the outer 
boundary of the dark hemisphere as illustrated 
in Fig. (3). 

We should thus have in the planet's dark 
hemisphere a vast ice field with a more 
or less connected series of glaciers along its 
outer edge and at no great distance from the 



14 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

planet's ever illumined face. This series of 
glaciers would be of an unknown but not great 
width ; it would, however, have a total face 
length- of close on 24,000 miles. The ice com- 
posing these glaciers w^ould under the action 
of gravity, and also probably under the influence 
of the hot current of descending air, be forced 
dow^n existing valleys into the sunlit face or 
at any rate into a temperature of over 32° F. 
to there melt and flow down the glacier valleys 
as water. 

The water so made available could not, how- 
ever, under normal conditions flow very far into 
the hemisphere of Venus exposed to perpetual 
sunshine without being all evaporated into the 
planet's atmosphere to be carried as cloud or 
water vapour back by the upper air currents to 
the glaciers whence it was derived. 

The Rev. M. Davidson has kindly calculated 
for me the probable temperatures at 10*^ in- 
tervals on the hemisphere of Venus in perpetual 
sunshine on the assumption that the planet like 
the Earth radiates heat more or less like a 
'' dark body.'' These temperatures are shown in 
the half curve illustrated in Fig. (4). 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 15 

It will be seen from this curve that all water 
flowing from the dark to the bright hemisphere 
would be literally boiled off the planet's surface 
before getting much more than 30° within the 
sunlit face. Thirty degrees on a globe the cir- 
cumference of which is 24,000 miles represent a 
distance of 2000 miles. It is clear, however, 
from this diagram that next the melting ice there 
would be a strip of land 24,000 miles long and 
at least 1000 miles wdde, comprising an area of 
24,000,000 square miles on which water would 
be always available and the temperatu^ of which 
would range from O^C. to 50^ C, i.e. 32^ F. to 
122° F. On this strip of the planet's surface life 
as we know it on Earth would consequently be 
possible if the Venusian atmosphere is similar in 
composition to our own, as is very likely the case. 
This much can be inferred on general grounds 
without a consideration of any of the planet's 
markings. Markings, however, as we have 
seen, there are, and we may learn something 
further from studying them. 

Imagine now an enterprising race in occu- 
pation of this narrow strip of Venus' surface 
and desirous of extending the area of their 



16 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

domain. At their back the inhabitants thereof 
would have an inexhaustible ice field which, if 
not melting off sufficiently quickly naturally, 
could be artificially melted to any desired extent, 
thus providing a practically unlimited supply of 
fresh water of which they could make use in the 
reclamation of the outlying arid areas. 

This water could not, on account of rapid 
evaporation, be carried in open channels very 
far into the lands it is desired to reclaim. 

It could, however, be carried forward by 
gravitation down the perhaps circuitous valleys 
in which the water flows in covered pipes or 
conduits to any desired points therein a good 
deal lower than the points at which the flowing 
water is available, as the head needed to force 
the water through pipes or conduits of moderate 
dimensions would be considerable. This would 
naturally limit the areas to which water could 
be so delivered. To economically raise it out of 
the valleys to the planet's higher lands, it would 
be necessary to pump it up to them. The lower 
down the valleys the first pumping stations 
were placed the greater would be the lift to the 
higher lands. It vv^ould therefore be advisable to 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 17 

commence pumping the available supplies as 
early as possible, ie. from points as near as 
possible to the melting glaciers. If it is desired 
to pump the water out to some point near the 
centre of the illuminated disc on much the same 
level as the source of supply the simplest and 
most economical method would be to carry the 
line of pipes which would be needed for such a 
purpose in the easiest direct line over hill and 
dale, for the simple reason that the power needed 
in such case would be much the same as that 
which would be needed for pumping in a direct 
line the same quantity of water through the 
same sized pipes over level ground, supposing 
always that such a direct level line could be 
obtained, which is extremely unlikely. 

The above would be the case because power 
lost in overcomino; an intervening height or 
heights would be regained on the down grades. 

Another advantage in carrying such a line of 
pipes in a direct line over intervening heights 
would be that from each such high point passed 
over water could be distributed in all directions 
to lower lands commanded by it through pipes or 
conduits under static pressure. Open channels 

A 3 



18 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

for such distribution would result in much loss of 
water from evaporation. 

One possible and economical system for 
the distribution of water through pipes to 
a small circular area from low-lying sources 
of supply situated at different points on its 
circumference would be that illustrated in 
Fig. (5). 

If the quantity of water to be so pumped 
and distributed is great, the number of pipes 
needed for its conveyance would, to begin with, 
be large, their number being gradually reduced 
as a portion of the water flowing through them 
is distributed to the lower-lying areas by means 
of pipes under static pressure taking oft' from 
the high points passed over by the main line 
of pipes. 

A comparison of Fig. (5) with Fig. (l) 
suggests that water is probably so distributed 
over the sunlit face of Venus, and that also in 
very large quantities, and thus postulates the 
existence of intelligent life on the planet. One 
result of such a distribution of water over the 
planet's bright hemisphere would be rapid 
evaporation therefrom or from the vegetation 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 19 

produced thereby. The evaporation would be 
greatest where the heat is greatest, i.e, at the 
centre of the planet's sunlit face, and would 
gradually decrease towards its circumference. 
Such evaporation would probably result in the 
formation of a cloud cap of some sort over the 
planet's bright hemisphere somewhat as shown 
in Fig. (6), through narrow openings in which 
cloud canopy the dark markings of the planet 
would show faintly ; the density of this cl5ud 
cap over each square unit of the sunlit hemi- 
sphere gradually getting less and less pronounced 
the greater the distance towards the terminator 
from the centre of the illuminated disc. This 
would account for the increasing faintness of all 
Venusian markino^s from the brig^ht terminator 
centrewards. 

Now if it can be shown from other evidence 
that such a cloud cap does probably cover 
Venus' sunlit face, it is only a reasonable 
assumption that it has been produced by water 
regularly distributed over the planet's sunlit 
disc in the manner already suggested, i.e. 
by being pumped, from where it is available 
near the planet's sunlit terminator, through 



20 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

water-tight pipes or conduits in the directions 
indicated by the finger-like markings and distri- 
buted from these pipes or conduits over the 
areas covered by these markings as well as over 
other shaded areas to be seen on Venus : the 
finger-like markings and other shaded areas 
being thus the planet's artificially irrigated 
lands dimly seen through a perpetual veil of 
dense cloud (see Fig. (6)). As such a veil of 
unbroken cloud would if it there existed cut off* 
about four-fifths of the heat reaching the planet 
from the Sun, the temperature at the centre 
of the illuminated disc would be reduced, and 
the temperature all over this disc be probably in 
consequence quite moderate. With, however, 
narrow but extensive breaks in this cloud canopy, 
which is more likely to be its actual formation, 
the temperature of the cloud-covered areas would 
very likely be still quite bearable though doubt- 
less well on .the hot side, and even perhaps 
super-tropical and dry at that. 

All heat getting through to the Venusian 
surface and trapped by the more or less open 
cloud canopy on reflection from this surface 
would be probably considerably modified by the 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 21 

cold lower currents flowing from all sides to the 
centre of the sunlit face. 

With regard to the probable existence of 
clouds in the planet's atmosphere the following 
quotation from the article on Venus in the 
''Encyclopaedia Britannica" is of interest. 

" Other observations than those we have 
cited above show that Venus is surrounded by 
an atmosphere so filled with clouds that it is 
doubtful whether any view of the solid body of 
the planet can ever be obtained. The first 
evidence in favour of an atmosphere was found 
in the fact that when near inferior conjunction 
the visible outline of the thin crescent extended 
through more than 180°. Most remarkable was 
an observation by Charles Smith Lyman at New 
Haven during the conjunction of 1866 when the 
planet was just without the Sun, a thin line of 
light was supposed to be seen all round the limb 
of the planet most distant from the Sun. But 
as no such appearance was seen during the 
approach of the planet to the Sun at the transit 
of 1874 and 1882, when conditions were much 
more favourable, it seems likely that such objects 
are the result of an optical illusion. During the 



22 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

latter of the two transits the phenomena of this 
class observed were of an unexpected character. 
Not a trace of the planet could be seen until it 
began to impinge on the solar disc. When 
about one-half of its diameter had entered upon 
the Sun the outline outside the disc of the Sun 
began to be marked by broken portions of an 
arc of light. This did not begin at the point A 
(Fig. (a), Plate III., page 26) furthest from the 
Sun, as it should have done if due wholly to 
refraction, but immediately at the Sun itself, as 
shown in the cut at the point B. Portions of this 
arc were formed one by one at various other points 
of the dotted outline, and when the planet was 
about three-fourths on the Sun it w^as completed, 
but there was no strengthening of the line at the 
middle point as there should have been if due 
to refraction. Yet refraction must have played 
some part in the phenomenon because otherwise 
no illumination could have been visible under 
the circumstances. The most satisfactory ex- 
planation appears to be that of H. N. Kussell, 
whose conclusion is that the atmosphere is so 
permeated with fine particles of water vapour 
up to its outer limit as to be only translucent 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 23 

without being fully transparent. Thus what is 
seen is the irregular reflection of light at an 
extremely small angle from the particles of 
vapour/' 

It would appear, however, that the pheno- 
mena above recorded, as well as the want of 
them, could be better explained by the existence 
of a dense cloud cap of a high-lying cumulus 
(rainless) type floating over nearly the entire 
illuminated disc of Venus, about 1 to 1^ miles 
up in its atmosphere, or say at a height of 
between 5000 and 8000 feet. Cumuli are on 
Earth essentially day clouds, forming about 
11 a.m. and dissipating again towards evening, 
and as it is always day on Venus' bright face, 
midday at its centre and what would correspond 
to morning or evening on Earth at its ter- 
minator, such a type of clouds would pro- 
bably be confined to the inner portion of this 
face and be always there present. According 
to the '' Encyclopaedia Britannica " : '' Cumulus 
clouds are thick clouds of which the upper 
surfaces are dome-shaped, and exhibit protu- 
berances, while the base is horizontal. These 
clouds appear to be formed by a diurnal 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 25 

ascensional movement, which is almost always 
observable. When the cloud is opposite the Sun 
the surfaces usually presented to the observer 
have a greater brilliance than the margin of the 
protuberances." 

In other words sunlight filters horizontally 
through such clouds to some extent. 

The formation of such clouds on Earth, where 
two layers of air of different density slide against 
each other by being carried in opposite directions, 
is well authenticated. Taking all the points 
above referred to into consideration , it is 
suggested that the arrangement of clouds on 
Venus may be somewhat as illustrated in Fig. 
(6a), Plate IL, which represents a section 
through the planet and its atmosphere, where : — 

aaa. Are ascending air currents charged with water vapour, 
which is eventually carried from "\^enus' bright 
hemisphere to its dark one. 

hhb. Is the suggested cumulus cloud canopy. 

ccc. Are low-lying rain or snow clouds in the planet's dark 
hemisphere. 

The great whiteness of the cumulus clouds 
might in part help to account for the planet's 
high albedo, the balance of light reflected being 






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IS VENUS INHABITED? 27 

reflected from the planet's atmosphere above 
the cloud canopy. 

When, at a time when the planet is very 
close to the Sun at inferior conjunction or is 
about to transit, the cumulus cloud cover ex- 
tends beyond Venus' sunlit face a short distance 
into its dark hemisphere, as at A in Fig. (7), 
Plate III. (which would probably be very rarely 
the case), the Sun's light would shine through, or 
be reflected from the lower sides of, the cumuli. 
When, however, the cloud covering does not 
extend into the dark hemisphere as at B, 
nothing would be seen. 

That such a cloud cap does cover Venus' 
sunlit face, and that it does not always extend 
to its terminator is, it would appear probable, 
supported by Mr. McEwen's paper on ^' Large 
irregularity on the terminator of Venus," which 
appeared in the Journal of the British Astronomi- 
cal Association for April, 1913 (pp. 325 to 327). 

It was a study of this article which first sug- 
gested the probable existence over Venus' sunlit 
hemisphere of such a cloud canopy as that above 
outlined. 

The irregularity referred to by Mr. McEwen, 



28 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

the existence of which was independently cor- 
roborated by Mr. Sargent of Bristol, is illustrated 
in the outline Figs. (8), (9) and (10), Plate III., 
sketched, with his kind permission and the sanc- 
tion of the Council of the British Astronomical 
Association, from three of the illustrations to Mr. 
McE wen's paper. Here we have (Figs. (8) and (9)) 
an extensive marking about 300 X 200 = 60,000 
square miles in area, which had clearly moved 
in four days along Venus' terminator at eastern 
elongation, for a distance of ^th — 5th = ^th 
of the planet's half circumference, or at a rate of 

^^ -—— = 6 miles per hour, and may well 

have been a large bay in the edge of a drifting 
cloud canopy. This bay had, see Fig. (10), 
completely disappeared three days later, though 
the position in which it had existed was still 
marked by a wide bend in the planet's illuminated 
terminator. Mr. McEwen's paper further shows 
that this illuminated terminator was on the date 

1*3 
of the latter observation ^^^ X 12000 = practi- 
cally 600 miles inside the planet's theoretical 
terminator. 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 29 

In connection with this observation, Mr. 
McEwen remarks: '^ It is profoundly interest- 
ing to compare these two lines, the one showing 
the actual terminator and the other indicating 
the position of the theoretical terminator. This 
is, of course, another way of expressing the 
well-known fact that Venus presents a crescent 
at maximum elongation when it should be 
dichotomised/' 

Mr. McEwen s observations and the '^ fact 
that Venus presents a crescent at maximum 
elongation," can be well explained by the exist- 
ence of a closely packed cloud canopy over the 
sun-illumined hemisphere, which cloud canopy 
does not always extend to the planet's theo- 
retical terminator. The continuous cloud canopy 
would be illuminated by the Sun's rays, the 
part of the planet's sunward hemisphere next 
the theoretical terminator being, as shown in 
Fig. (11), in shadow. 

That the cloud canopy does occasionally ex- 
tend beyond the general sunlit terminator is 
supported by projections therefrom, which are 
at times 200 miles long and 100 miles wide, and 
may thus well be banks of cloud extending away 



30 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

from this terminator (see illustrations of Venus 
in Dr. Lowell's "The Evolution of AVorlcls "). 

If then such a cloud canopy does exist over 
the sun-illuminated face of Venus, and the 
evidence above cited goes to show that there 
is somethino' more than mere dust and water 
vapour in the planet's atmosphere, why has Dr. 
Lowell observed no clouds ? This can perhaps 
be accounted for by his possibly being on the look 
out for rapidly moving and not closely packed 
clouds, whereas the planet's cloud covering is 
probably practically continuous, and its move- 
ment is most likely, especially near the ter- 
minator, comparatively slow, as has been seen 
above was probably the case in the large irre- 
gularity brought to notice by Mr. McEwen. 

The spectroscope would, under the assumed 
conditions, indicate but little water vapour on 
Venus' sunlit face, as the air above the perpetual 
dense cloud canopy, which reflects the Sun's 
light, would be comparatively dry. 

To secure the continued existence of such a 
cloud canopy, water must in some way be 
regularly supplied to the sun-illuminated hemi- 
sphere, and this could only, it is suggested, be 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 31 

effected by its being pumped to suitable localities 
from water supplies which are very probably ob- 
tainable from the vast ice-fields of the planet's 
dark hemisphere. 

The finger-like markings reaching in from 
the terminator would appear to indicate the 
directions and localities in which the water is 
so pumped. 

If these markings were viewed through a 
dust-laden atmosphere, when the planet is near 
superior conjunction, they should be either 
entirely obliterated near the planet's terminator 
or be very faintly seen. That they here show 
darkest would appear to indicate that they are 
next the illuminated terminator seen through an 
atmosphere to a great extent free of dust, and 
also of the cloud canopy which probably covers 
the rest of the planet's sunlit disc and which 
grows denser towards the centre of this sunlit 
face (see Fig. (6rt)). 

The collar round the southern cusp can be 
explained by the existence here of a group of 
high mountains, the water flowing from the 
glaciers situated in the valleys thereof collecting 
at the foot of such mountain group, and being 



32 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

there used in part for local irrigation and in part 
pumped on towards the centre of the illuminated 
disc along the finger-like markings leading from 
this collar (Fig. (1)). 

These Venusian finger-like markings are thus 
very probably similar in some ways to the 
'' Canals of Mars" as in "The Riddle of Mars " 
they have been theorised to be. In both cases 
the markings may well indicate the directions in 
which water is being pumped a long distance for 
the purpose of irrigation through groups of 
pipes. On Venus there is a large and continuous 
drain on the water being so pumped, hence the 
markings gradually decrease in width the further 
they go. On Mars, on the contrary, the drain 
for local use on the water carried in its pipes 
is very small until the service reservoirs, from 
which the planet's extensive blue-green areas are 
possibly irrigated by a vast system of irrigation 
pipes under static pressure, are reached. The 
Martian canals are therefore of the same width 
throughout. 

One set of markings would thus appear to 
corroborate the other. On each planet a fight 
for existence, but with in each case a different 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 33 

object in view, would appear to be in progress. 
On Mars the conservation for irrigation of a 
scanty water supply, on Venus the irrigation 
from a plentiful, but readily evaporable, water 
supply of portions of its sunlit hemisphere, 
resulting in the formation over this face of a 
more or less continuous cloud canopy helping 
to temper the great heat to which it would 
otherwise be subjected. Behind both systems 
may be perceived the working of a high order 
of intelligence. 

How far these views will meet with general 
acceptance time alone can show, new theories 
generally having to make their way and justify 
their conception. 

The suggestions now advanced are based on 
the principles of hydraulics, with which few are 
well acquainted ; speaking generally, mundane 
experience in dealing with questions of water 
supply shows, however, that where water 
cannot be conveyed from where it is avail- 
able to where it is needed, through the air 
as water vapour or by gravitation through 
pipes or channels, the simplest and most 
economical method of conveying it is to 



34 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

pump it. To devise means for effecting this 
on a large, but not impossible, scale postu- 
lates the existence of life and of a superior 
intelligence on both our neighbour worlds, and 
to this conclusion it is submitted we are driven 
by a study of the surface markings of both 
planets and the special features and charac- 
teristics of these markings. The markings are 
there and we must do our best to find a 
reasonable explanation for them. 

The very positioning, implying plan, of 
the very long, very straight and, in comparison 
with their length, very narrow markings of 
both Venus and Mars suggests inter alia their 
probable artificial nature and their possible true 
character — tracts, along or over which water is 
being pumped or otherwise carried in pipes or 
conduits under pressure rendered visible owing 
to the existence thereon of the necessary pump- 
ing stations and the irrigation of the gardens, 
fields, etc., in the immediate neighbourhood of 
these stations as well as along the pipe lines 
themselves, and on lands adjacent thereto. 

An estimate of the pump horse-power which 
would probably be needed to cover all Venus' 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 



35 



dark markings, so far recorded, with an 18-incli 
depth of water in 12 mundane months will 
be found in the Appendix. It works out to 
HP = 17 X 10^ which is probably much under 
that in daily use on Earth. There is therefore 
no impossibility involved in such a system of 
water distribution as that above outlined being 
in use on Venus, especially as the above 
estimate is most probably an outside one. 

It would appear to be, both in the case 
of Venus and in that of Mars, a mere question 
of special conditions of demand and supply, 
which would have to be faced and overcome 
in much the same way by man were he placed 
under similar conditions. He would merely be 
adopting in both cases on a vast and extensive 
scale a system of water carriage already in use 
in many cases on earth on, comparatively, a 
much smaller one. 

Very likely it is due to the great magnitude 
of the operations which would be needed that 
we can perceive any signs of such systems being 
probably in operation on both planets. 

It is, to say the least, very singular that 
all the markings so far recorded on both Venus 



36 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

and Mars, including the latter's celebrated 
'^ double canals/' can be satisfactorily accounted 
for on the assumption that large quantities of 
water have to be pumped long distances on 
each planet from where water is, as far as w^e 
can judge, available in sufficient amount to 
where it can probably be usefully utilized for 
irrigation. The conveyance of water in this 
way being, as mundane experience has shown, 
not only possible but financially profitable. 

In conclusion it i« sincerely hoped that even 
if the suggestions now advanced with regard 
to the probable physical condition of Venus do 
not find general acceptance, this paper will at 
any rate stimulate the study of the planet with 
a view to the collection of further evidence for 
or against them ; also that the definite and 
precise, and therefore if improbable or unsound 
easily refuted, interpretations of markings already 
observed will, in the interests of the advance- 
ment of thought, be accorded a broadminded 
consideration. 

What is possible on a small scale is equally 
possible on any scale necessity may prescribe. 



APPENDIX 

Horse-power needed on Yenus 

The area of Venus' hemisphere equals, say, 
92,000,000 sq. miles, out of which 24,000,000 
sq. miles could probably be partly irrigated 
from water conveyed in open channels. These 
areas would be in the shadow of the cloud 
canopy and so would ordinarily not show. 

The area to be irrigated by a pumped 
supply may be put at about 15,000,000 sq. miles 
thus made up — 

8 spokes each 5000 miles long sq. miles. 

and ^^ miles wide = 10,000,000 
Other shaded areas — say ... ... 5,000,000 

Total ... 15,000,000 

To cover which area with water to a depth 
of 18 ins. in 12 mundane months we should 
need a continuous flow of 20,000,000 cusecs. 



38 IS VENUS INHABITED? 

If this flow was passed at a rate of 100 cusecs 
per pipe through pipes or conduits 6 ft. in 
diameter, we should need 200,000 such pipes 
or conduits. In each finger-like marking there 
would thus, to begin with, be '^^^^^ = 25,000 
such pipes, which if placed 100 ft. apart would 
cover a width of 2,500,000 ft. or something 
under 500 miles. 

The head of water to which a pipe could 
be safely subjected on Venus may be taken to 
be the same as on Earth, 300 ft., and other 
calculations also made from our hydraulic 
formulae. 

The head required in a 6 ft. diameter pipe 
having a flow of 100 cusecs to overcome the 
friction therein is 1 in 1800, the pumping 
stations could thus be placed 1800 X 300 = 
540,000 ft. apart on a level pipe — or say, to 
be on the safe side, they would have on the 
average to be 100 miles apart on a line carried 
over hill and dale. 

The average length of each 6 ft. pipe line 
would be ^-^ = 2500 miles — we should .there- 
fore require, say, on the average 25 stations 
on each pipe. 



IS VENUS INHABITED? 39 

The H.P. needed at each station would be — 

300x100x60x62-4 -,,nATT-D 
33;000 = 3400 H.P. 

The H.P. needed per pipe would thus on 
the average be 3400 X 25 = 85,000, and as 
the total number of pipes required is under 
our assumed conditions, 200,000, the total power 
needed to work the entire system would be 
17,000,000,000 H.P. With smaller-sized pipes 
it would be, of course, somewhat greater. 



THE END 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, BECCLES 



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